Some things, at first, are hard to believe – and by agreeing to receive one peso per year for services rendered as a “creative communications consultant,” director Paul Soriano may have just put himself in the category of “unbelievable.”

Still, let us not get ahead of ourselves.

On Monday, Soriano was sworn in at Malacañang for this new role, with his wife Toni Gonzaga and son in attendance.

“One of the greatest assets of the Filipino is our creativity, and we must find many ways to highlight that to the rest of the world. And that is what Paul Soriano has already been doing in his career as a filmmaker. And now we have asked him to help us at one peso per year,” President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. said in a press release.

Direk Paul is well-known for his work in film, garnering awards in the past, but his campaign advertisements in the last elections are a more recent memory.

Following the little skirmishes in roles within the Executive department, this latest one involving a new role has naturally drawn some curiosity.

What is a creative communications consultant exactly? The Office of the Press Secretary explained that “Soriano is tasked to advise Marcos and assist departments and agencies, including government-owned and controlled corporations, on matters that will enhance their information dissemination programs and initiatives.”

The US-educated director, in other words, will determine how effective the government’s communications efforts are, essentially. It’s right up his alley although some might argue that effective communications require some academic expertise.

That he should accept the position for a measly peso should also show not only his loyalty and dedication to the Marcos family, but the country.

In fact, he stated, “It’s an absolute honor to be able to serve, first and foremost, of course, for the country and then, of course, for the PBBM administration,” Soriano said.

“It’s a passion of mine to just create and communicate. It’s an absolute honor that the President has trusted me with this position,” he added.

Still, critics may raise a brow and question how much the new office will get as a budget. The point, though, is that the job gets done, right, Filipinos?


Speaking of creativity, a recent message I received from Filipino artist Jef Albea left me feeling disturbed about the support our creative sector gets from government.

Albea, over this pandemic, had shows in New York and Paris. The latest one in France was traumatic for the artist because some of his works were stolen.

This is what he said: “Van Gogh Art Gallery left my artworks with the hotel manager where they checked in. (The) gallery advised the 5-star hotel that we will collect the sculptures when I arrived in Paris _kasi_ I went to Milan for the Fashion Week and met some clients. When I arrived in Paris, my team went to the hotel and looked for the artworks. _Kulang ng tatlo_ (It lacked three). _Nagalit sila sakin_ (They got mad at me) and they told me that maybe someone stole the artworks _dahil_ full of diamonds and crystals _daw._ They pushed me away, they even contacted the police, they screamed and told me after three hours- ‘Sorry, we lost them.’”

At first, Jef left the hotel because he felt helpless and was having a hard time understanding French. But he mustered up the courage and went back, demanding an explanation.

He asked for CCTV footage and made his voice louder, simply thinking that he had done nothing wrong and deserved justice.

“Until the manager went to me and admitted that one of their employees stole the artworks. They said that it was seen on CCTV and they are very sorry for what happened. The hotel management admitted and they fired the employee in front of me…”

He ended, “…I realized, masarap sa pakiramdam na pinaglaban ko ang karapatan ko, nalaman ko ang katotohanan at hindi ako nagpatalo kahit nagiisa ako laban sa napakaraming Pranses na pinagtatawanan ako.”

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